Saturday, October 9, 2010

Warblers in Walkingsticks

I believe that I've finished the new pastel of the Black-throated Blue and Tennessee warblers in Devil's Walkingstick. In the end I stayed pretty close to one of the compositional sketches I showed a few days ago.

I did make the berries stronger than in the preliminary sketch, both as a design device as well as to accentuate the importance of these berries to birds. You can only say so many things and write so many letters questioning the wisdom of pulling out Devil's Walkingstick. Sometimes a work of art has more effect. That of course wasn't my main purpose in making this drawing. But it is a possible added benefit.

I'm also including the finished version of the Orchard Orioles and nest. It's not terribly different than what I last posted but there are some changes. I also like posting it here because I think these two drawings are fairly successful, at least by my idiosyncratic standards.

As an artist you often do works you're not that fond of that quickly find public appreciation and vice versa, works you like that don't seem popular. But as others have said, the public is fickle. I'm sure some artists are successful by catering to public tastes, and sometimes you have no choice if you want to sell anything. But for me I've always wanted to first meet my own exacting standards. These two works have done that I'm happy to say.

To me at least they portray an accurate view of something seen, they are well designed in composition and color, and they use the medium of pastel to advantage. Not everyone who sees these is going to agree. In fact some may now be on floor slapping their knees in laughter because this seems so wrong. Seriously. But I'm my hardest critic and I'm happy with what I've accomplished here and I wanted to explain why.


Gabrielle said...

Ken - I REALLY like the warblers and walking sticks pastel!!!! The composition and the colors and textures; the whole piece just sings to me. I'm glad you played up the berries more.

I haven't dropped off the face of the earth entirely - just taking a much needed hiatus. But I have to check your blog from time to time to see what you are up to!

Ken Januski said...

Hi Gabrielle,

I had wondered what happened to you and stopped by your blog a few times looking for any signs of activity. We all need hiatuses though. Hope you're enjoying yours.

Thanks regarding this drawing. I do feel like I've reached a new plateau with it. I'm starting to get more comfortable both with creating scenes and using more abstraction, something I've been wanting to do for awhile. I think I may have reached a direction I'm happy with.